National Science Foundation GRFP

The NSF GRFP provides a $34,000/year stipend and $12,000/year cost-of-education allowance for up to 3 years of research-based study leading to a MS or PhD in science, engineering, social science, or STEM education. The mission of the NSF GRFP is to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and to reinforce its diversity.  The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.  The NSF welcomes applications from all qualified students and strongly encourages under-represented populations, including women, under-represented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, to apply for this fellowship.


To be eligible, you must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. permanent resident
  2. Intend to pursue a research-based Master's or Ph.D. program in an NSF-supported field
  3. Have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study

Note that you can apply a maximum of two times for the NSF GRFP: the year before you begin graduate school and either your first year or your second year of graduate school.

Link to Official Website

When to apply

CUSE will begin working with applicants in April of junior year.  

Next Steps

  1. If you are a graduate student, connect with the Graduate School for in-depth advising.
  2. Review the eligibility requirements on this page to ensure that you are (or will be) eligible to apply.
  3. Review the Graduate School calendar of events for dates/times for workshops. You must create an account to register for their events. For the 2019 application, workshop information coming soon. Undergraduates are welcome.
    1. Accelerated workshop (3 days)
    2. Extended workshop 
  4. Complete the Interest Form so that we can send you updates throughout the application process.
  5. View the official NSF GRFP program solicitation, the official NSF GRFP applicant informationGRFP Essay Insights, and the Graduate School NSF GRFP page for helpful information.
  6. Register for and complete the online application when it's available.

Calendar of Deadlines and Events

April 1-30, 2019 Schedule a meeting with Jenny Smith
July 29, 2019 Submit 1st draft for feedback
August 26-30, 2019 Schedule a meeting with Jenny Smith
September 16, 2019 Submit 2nd draft for feedback 
October 7-11, 2019 Schedule a meeting with Jenny Smith
October 2019 Application Deadline 


Recommender Resources

Official NSF Advice for GRFP Letters of RecommendationFurther Advice (from an experienced fellowship advisor, courtesy of Penn State, which includes samples)